Why Use Twitter?

As a regular Twitter user, I have become a big fan of the micro-blogging platform that invites you to share thoughts in pithy, 140-character blasts. Chances are, you:

  • Have never heard of Twitter.
  • Have heard of it, but think it is just another way to waste your time, or
  • You love Twitter and use it to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and to meet people.

If you are in the first category and have never heard of Twitter, this is a good time to get acquainted! My favorite place to learn about social networking applications is on commoncraft.com. They have a great video that describes Twitter in very easy to understand terms.

I must admit, before I found a niche of people to “follow” on Twitter (that is – people whose “tweets” I receive on my home page) – I thought the whole thing seemed like a big waste of time. Once I got over the fact that so many people share what they are eating for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I realized that, by following the right people, I would be “in the loop” on up-to-date information my colleagues all over the country (and world) are sharing. It is also a wonderful way to form new connections with other professionals, clients and business owners.

So, if you are looking for a job or are a professional in your field (working for someone or an entrepreneur), these are the reasons I think you should try Twitter:

Get Connected. There is no doubt that Twitter facilitates connections. It is a great place to introduce someone or to get introduced in an informal way. You can learn who is talking to whom in your field and choose to “follow” people who are “in the know.” Unlike Facebook, where it is kind of creepy if you start trying to “friend” people who are connected to your contacts, it is much more acceptable (and expected) to follow people on Twitter because another friend or colleague does.

Personally, I have had phone conversations with several colleagues, shared information with many and am working on several partnerships directly as a result of our interactions on Twitter.

Business Growth. No doubt that you can grow your business using Twitter. Chris Brogan wrote 50 ideas for using Twitter for business. He notes, instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?” (as Twitter suggests), answer the question, “What has your attention?” He also reminds us that it’s great to retweet something your friends or colleagues have shared. This is a terrific way to connect and potentially lay the groundwork for networking opportunities.

Yes, you can get business on Twitter, but don’t think of it only as a way to get business. The idea is to be in the networking space, which will lead to great opportunities as you grow your connections and help each other.

Personal Branding. For those unfamiliar, personal branding is the way “individuals differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd.” Twitter is a great way to build your personal brand. By sharing professional information along with just the right amount of personality, you can strengthen your personal brand and help people get to know you. The result – those who know (and like) you will become part of your network and will be willing to help you when you have questions or need help.

Look for a Job. Deb Dib (the CEO coach – an esteemed career professional and someone I’ve gotten to “know” on Twitter), wrote an in-depth post on how Twitter can be useful for the job search. She asks, “Where can you create almost instant exposure to (and build credibility with) other executives, recruiters and the press?” The answer – Twitter!

Stay tuned for a post that answers the question, “Can you find a job on Twitter?”

Convinced that Twitter may be a good use of your time? Feel free to follow me:

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10 Responses to “Why Use Twitter?”

  1. 1 Dan Schawbel September 22, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Twitter hit 3 million users this weekend. It’s growing at such a high rate now that we can expect it to be mainstream sooner rather than later.

  2. 2 Miriam Salpeter September 22, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Dan – Absolutely. It seems as if I can’t turn to a mainstream newspaper or magazine without seeing an article on Twitter. Getting involved now is optimum.

  3. 3 Tim September 22, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Any ideas on what’s going to be the next Twitter?

  4. 4 Paige September 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, Miriam. I am in the second group…I’ve heard of it, but wanted to know more about it and the benefits. Very informative!

  5. 5 Amy September 22, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    My IT son has been pushing me to use Twitter for a while. I kept asking questions and still don’t understand, but after reading your material, I’m on! For some of his (and his wife’s) delightful posts and photos, check out their 3000+ mile vacation blog on wandering.weisz.es

  6. 6 Deb Dib September 24, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for the mention, Miriam! Really like your post — concise and informative, and very compelling. The more I see what Twitter can do for raising visibility around one’s brand, value proposition, and thought leadership (while creating new knowledge and personal/business connections), the more convinced I am that is is a brilliant (and necessary) addition to any job seeker’s or career manager’s tool box.

  7. 7 Miriam Salpeter September 24, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Tim – I wish I knew! Honestly, I’d prefer to really focus on Twitter for a little while!

    Paige – So glad to share info about Twitter. I’ve become a real fan of it, as I see how it has helped me, and I hope you have the same experience.

    Amy – Glad to have one more Twitter convert! (You’d think I was on their payroll the way I go on about it!)

  8. 8 Miriam Salpeter September 24, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Deb – Thanks for your comment! I was happy to be able to link to your great post. I totally agree that Twitter is becoming a necessary addition to any professional’s personal branding plan.

  9. 9 compassioninpolitics November 10, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Great post on Twitter for business and great info overall. I might also add a post or two from can helpful http://www.twitip.com/ as well as Guy Kawasaki’s most recent post about Twitter is amazingly fantastic!


  10. 10 Miriam Salpeter November 11, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Great additional tips! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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